Tag Archives: lists

Seven Spectacularly Geeky Fake Holidays

I love holidays as much for their traditions as for the time off from work that accompany many of them. Christmas, Easter, Halloween, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, President’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and even Cinco de Mayo—these are all real holidays.

National Beef Jerky Day and National Flannel Day, not so much.

Here are seven other aweseomely fake holidays that are so geektastic I hope that we’ll be celebrating them for years to come—even if it’s only on the Internet.

Pixar-esque Pirate
Image via AustinDM.

1. September 19

Talk Like a Pirate Day is the first fake holiday I’ll mention, not because it’s first in my heart, but rather because it’s tomorrow. Arr lads!, this be a scurvy holiday to be sure.

2. June 29

I’m not a big fan of unicorns myself, mostly because I’m not an eight year old girl. But, Unicorn Appreciation Day reminds me of J.D. from Scrubs. And any holiday that can make me think about one half of the greatest bromance of all time OK by me.

3. March 14

Pi Day is quite possibly the geekiest holiday on this list. The mathematical wunder-number 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028…, or Π, is abbreviated as 3.14. This works largely because there is a 14th day in the third month of the year. If you needed this explained to you then you don’t deserve to celebrate this special day.

4. August 28

Held on the birthday of Jack “King” Kirby (co-creator of Captain America, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, and way too many others to list), Read Comics in Public Day lets geeks be geeks by taking pride in doing one of their favorite things.

5. May 25

I’ve written about Towel Day, or Geek Pride Day before. What better way to honor the memory of Douglas Adams and geeks everywhere than to carry a towel around with you all day.

6. June 1

Personally, I think every day should be National Punch a Hipster Day. Unfortunately, it comes but once a year. Apparently, “this is a hipster created hipster hating event … Hipsters are so hipster that they think hipsters are uncool!”

7. December 23

It should come as no surpise that from the best sitcom of all time we get the best fake holiday of all time. “Festivus, for the rest of us!” Legend has it that one winter’s eve the father of George Costanza brought home an aluminum pole, regaled his family members with tales of all the ways they’d disappointed him during the past year, and then challenged them to feats of strength. Which fake holidays do you celebrate? Sound off in the comments below.

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Seven Best Road Trip Snacks

School starts for los niños on Monday which means (sadly) that summer, 2012 is drawing to a close.

The highlight of our summer was our road trip from Texas to Southern California. We saw the Grand Canyon, sunned ourselves along the Pacific, and spent a few magical days in the kingdom that Walt built … and boy, oh boy did we eat a lot of snacks on our way!

Convenience Store
Convenience Store via Angry Fitness Trainer.

Here are seven of my all-time favorite road trip snacks; many of which we enjoyed on our summer trek.

1. Corn Nuts

Corn Nuts
Corn Nuts via able2know.

Corn nuts are a really, really crunchy snack that come in myriad flavors. Bonus—if you eat them you will keep the driver awake.

2. Trail Mix

Gorp
Trail Mix via Wikipedia.

I prefer to make my own trail mix. My favorite recipe (I’ll use that term loosely) consists of peanuts, raisins, and plain M&Ms. Generally, I make it a rule not to eat raisins, but when they’ve got the other two companions I’ll gladly make an exception.

3. Red Licorice

Red Vines
Red Vines via Adrian Gyuricska on Kontain.

When I say red licorice I really mean Red Vines. I would never, ever eat Twizzlers. Not even on a bet.

4. Beef Jerky

Old West Beef Jerky Pieces
Old West Beef Jerky Pieces via Best Beef Jerky.

High protein. Low fat. Those are just two of the reasons I justify my love of beef jerky. I would eat it all the time if I could (afford to).

5. Hostess Products

Hostess Orange Cupcakes 02
Hostess Orange Cupcakes via Brand Eating.

At the risk of sounding terribly white trash I must confess that I love all Hostess brand snack cakes. From Twinkies to Zingers, from Ding Dongs to Dunkin Stix and even my personal favorite Orange Cupcakes—I love me the Hostess with the mostest. Plus, they have an amazing shelf life (i.e.: forever).

6. Caffeinated beverages

Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew Logo via Wikipedia.

Whether your drug of choice is Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew, Jolt or (my wife’s fave) Coke Zero sometimes you need a good old caffeine-laden soda. They help keep your lids from drooping and keep your family alive.

7. Doritos

Doritos
Doritos via Alaska Market Link Store.

These chips are so good that their inventor literally went into the final journey in a casket lined with them.

There you have it, that’s my list of essential road trip comestibles.

What’s must have goodies do you pick up on your cross-country drives? Sound off in the comments below.

What’s your favorite road trip snack? Sound of in the comments below.

Seven Best Fake Names in Punk Rock

The Ramones' 1976 debut album laid down the mu...

The Ramones’ 1976 debut album. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is it about punk rock that continues to attract legions of young, middle class, American WASP fans? That’s a blog theme for another day. Today, I’m only interested in the best fake names in one of my favorite musical genres.

For reasons totally unbeknownst to me, punk rock has a plethora of colorful (usually black and blue) characters who decided that their given names weren’t hardcore enough for their edgy onstage personas. Here are the seven best fake names in all of punk rock.

1) Johnny Rotten

Johnny Rotten
Image via HiLobrow.

Johnny Rotten brought Anarchy back to the UK. He is mostly recognized as lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably the best punk group ever.

2) Rat Scabies

Rat Scabies
Image via Last.fm.

Maybe a name like Christopher Millar wasn’t dark enough to be a member of early British punk pioneers The Damned. I don’t really know if Rat Scabies was an attempt at humor or some disgusting ailment suffered by the former Millar.

3) Pat Smear

Pat Smear
Image via Billboard.

Before he was fighting Foo or touring with Nirvana, Smear was a member of highly influential Germs. Say what you will about Smear, but he had a great sense of humor. I can’t think of his name without thinking of Leslie Nielsen’s classic Naked Gun movies. “I must kill Pat Smear … ”

4) Sid Vicious

Sid Vicious
Image via Coolspotters.

Sid was bandmates with the aforementioned Johnny Rotten in the Sex Pistols. The story of Sid’s life and mutually destructive relationship with Nancy Spungen is a cautionary rock and roll fable. Drugs and humans—especially psychotic humans—don’t mix.

5) Lee Ving

Lee Ving as Mr. Body
Image via Avelyman.

Not only was Ving the front man of the hardcore punk band Fear, but he was also the first guy to get whacked in my favorite movie based on a board game; 1985’s Clue.

6) Jello Biafra

Jello Biafra
Image via ipass.net.

I remember drawing Dead Kennedys logos on my Pee Chee folders long before I knew anything about the band or their outrageous lead singer. This guy’s name is just plain whacky. I’m not sure what he was sniffing when he came up with it, but any guy who can pens lyrics about Star-Bellied Sneetches and rails against the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge is alright in my book.

7) Every Single Member of The Ramones

The Ramones
Image via Max’s Kansas City.

Consisting of Dee Dee, Joey, Johnny and a revolving cast of other guys (Tommy, Marky, Richie, Elvis, and CJ) whose last name was not really Ramone, the Ramones are often credited as the first punk rock group.

They proved that you don’t need to master more than three chords, write songs lasting longer than two minutes, or use your real name to be punk.

In the words of Cheech Marin:

“[it’s] just punk rock. You don’t have to know how to play. All you just got to do is be a punk.”

Are there any other great punk rock pseudonyms out there? Sound off in the comments below.

Seven Christmas Albums to Rock the Holidays

One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is the music. I love it all—from traditional carols about the birth of Jesus to Rock and Pop songs about Santa, snowmen, and mistletoe—I can’t get enough of it.

There’s no better way to get into the season than with a some fantastic seasonal tunes. So, here’s my list of seven sure-fire Christmas albums to rock your holidays.

  1. A Charlie Brown ChristmasVince Guaraldi Trio

    A Charlie Brown Christmas
    Available on iTunes and Amazon

    There’s a certain melancholy to the Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon which helps us relate to the titular blockhead. But, the jazzy instrumental takes on familiar staples “Greensleeves” and “O Tannenbaum” make this album a perfect compliment to your holiday party.

  2. Noel – Josh Groban

    Noel
    Available on iTunes and Amazon

    Wow! That’s really sums up how I feel about Groban’s take on Christmas music. I was literally blown away the first time I heard this. It’s easily the best Christmas album to come out in the last 20 years. Do yourself a favor and buy this one today.

  3. Christmas with the Beach Boys – The Beach Boys

    Christmas with the Beach Boys
    Available on iTunes and Amazon

    This album occupies a special place in my heart. This was probably the third album I remember buying with my own money. I loved The Beach Boys’ harmonies on the old standards, but the most fun was their original tune “Little Saint Nick.”

  4. Have a Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives

    Have a Holly Jolly Christmas
    Available on iTunes and Amazon

    I know what you’re thinking—“Isn’t that the Ugly Bug Ball guy?”—and, yes, it is. But, he’s also the snowman in the classic Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer animated special. If you enjoy Holly Jolly as much as I do the rest of this album will be sure to brighten your spirits.

  5. WintersongSarah McLachlan

    Wintersong
    Available on iTunes and Amazon

    I’m sure Ms. McLachlan tires of her voice being referred to as ethereal, but it really is. This is a fantastic album with wonderful renditions of “Silent Night” and “Christmas Time Is Here”. The highlight of Wintersong is her cover of Joni Mitchell‘s “River”. At one time or another, we’ve all wished we had river that we could skate away on.

  6. A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 1 – Various Artists

    A Very Special Christmas
    Available on iTunes and Amazon

    The first volume in the “A Very Special Christmas” (AVSC) series of albums may sound a trifle dated, but it’s just so much fun! Released in 1987 to benefit the Special Olympics, AVSC features a who’s who of late 80s rock and pop standouts. This album features two songs currently in heavy rotation on my Christmas playlist: “Christmas (Please Come Home Baby)” by U2 and “Christmas in Hollis” by Run-D.M.C.

  7. A Christmas Together – John Denver & the Muppets

    A Christmas Together
    Available on iTunes and Amazon

    It never officially felt like Christmas Time until my parents brought out the John Denver and Muppets Christmas record. With renewed interest in the Muppets, A Christmas Together is a great way to get (re-)acquainted with the world’s greatest performing puppet troupe. The songs range from sweet to silly without ever being condescending to the audience or the source material. This album is great fun regardless of your age.

There are so many great Christmas albums out there, so I know I may not have chosen your favorites. Which christmas albums would have made your list? Sound off in the comments below.

All album art courtesy of Amazon

Seven Things No One Should Buy from Sky Mall

There are two parts of each plane trip I absolutely loathe—take-offs and landings. No, it’s not that they make me airsick, I just hate not being able to use any of my electronic devices.

The only thing left for me to do during this period of time is to browse the current issue of Sky Mall. While scanning the catalog is a guilty pleasure of mine, no one on any account should ever buy anything Sky Mall. Ever.

SkyMall Winter 2011

A few months back I remember seeing a post on Freshly Pressed highlighting some of the miscellaneous oddities to be found in the pages of Sky Mall. I’d like to contribute my own list of seven things no one should buy from Sky Mall (or from anywhere for that matter).

Below are seven items I can’t believe are for sale on SkyMall along with my snide remarks about each.

  1. What does the Camo Slanket says about its owner? I’ve given up on life and I don’t want anyone to be able to find me.Camo Slanket
  2. The Toilet Dog and Cat Water Bowl really perplexes me. I thought the idea was to train your pets NOT to drink from the loo?!?Pet Drinking Toilet
  3. No, I’m sorry. No matter how you good you are at turning on and off the TV you and your Magic Wand Remote Control will not be getting into Hogwarts this term.Remote Control Wand
  4. The Brobdingnagian Sports Chair was made for the outdoorsman who wants to feel like a kid and look like an idiot again.Obscenely Big Chair
  5. Jumpin Jammers are the perfect nighttime apparel for the young lady who really, really wants to look like one of the Bratz Babyz.Jumpin Jammerz
  6. The product description for the Golden Pierogi claims that it’s destined to be “become a family heirloom”. For what family, may I ask, the Clampetts?Golden Pierogi
  7. I’m still of the opinion that giant inflatable animals do not increase car sales, but it looks like you can buy big blue inflatable gorillas (albeit sans yellow boxer shorts) from SkyMall.

    More Big Blue Gorilla

With each release there are hundreds of ridiculous products no one needs and definitely should never buy. On the rare occasion that I find something that piques my interest the forces of reality drag me back to Earth.

What’s the looniest thing you’ve ever seen in Sky Mall? Did you buy it? Sound off in the comments below.

Seven Reasons Mark Cuban Needs to Buy the Dodgers

Mark Cuban guest starred in the episode.

Image via Wikipedia

For the second straight year the Los Angeles Dodgers failed to make the post-season. While it may not bring immediate results, I think the best thing that could happen for the franchise of my youth would be if Mark Cuban were to buy the Blue Crew.

When Cuban burst onto the the professional sports scene I found him obnoxious and boorish. I was convinced that he’d never take his team all the way.

In the decade that’s followed Cuban won me over and his Mavericks are the defending NBA Champions. Now I’m a fan.

In this edition of Lucky Sevens I’d like to present seven reasons why the Dodgers need Mark Cuban to buy them.

Brand Name

How many NBA owners not named Mark Cuban can you name? That’s what I thought. Cuban as a brand is just as well known as his team.

Star Power

There’s no denying Cuban’s in love with the limelight. Truth is, he handles it pretty well. Stints on Dancing with the Stars and Shark Tank have solidified Cuban as not only a sports figure, but as an entertainer as well.

Showtown will embrace Cuban as one of their own.

Free Chalupas at Dodger Stadium

Early in his tenure as Mav’s owner, Cuban routinely gave out Taco Bell chalupas to all ticket-holders who attended a game where they scored 100 or more.

Forget Dodger Dogs, LA’s Angelino community will go crazy over free non-authentic Mexican cuisine.

Deal Maker

Mark Cuban understands the business of professional sports. He’s proven that he can land key talent including future Hall-of-Famer Jason Kidd.

Just think of what he could do for LA in a year when both Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder are free agents!

Can Keep Talent

In order to build championship calibre teams, the Dodgers need to keep existing Dodgers’ stars Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, and Clayton Kershaw.

After his 2006 NBA Finals collapse, many sports pundits thought Dirk Nowitzki needed to leave Dallas in order to have success again. Cuban managed to keep Nowitzki and both have been vindicated during the most recent NBA Finals.

Can Work with a Difficult Commissioner

After dealing with the Angel of Stern for the last eleven years working with Bud Selig should be like a walk in the park.

Can Win

It’s been over 20 years since LA last won the World Series. I’m not saying it’ll happen overnight, but Mark Cuban can make it happen for the Dodgers.

You can’t argue with hardware. He got close in 2006, but in 2011 Cuban and his Dallas Mavericks won the NBA Finals.

Los Angeles Dodgers Logo

The Dodgers are arguably the most important professional sports team in America. This is the team of Jackie Robinson and Fernandomania. With Mark Cuban as owner, they can be great again.

Do you think Mark Cuban would be a good ball club owner? Who would do better? Sound off in the comments below.

Turbo Charge Your Lunch Break in Seven Easy Steps

"Men and women employees on the "swi...

Image via Wikipedia

Smack dab in the middle of each day we have the chance to take a break from work, eat, and recharge. How sad is it that so few of us take full advantage of this opportunity!

It’s been quite some time since the last (consequently the first and heretofore only the third) post in my Lucky Sevens series. So, today, I’m sharing seven tips on how to make the most of your lunch break.

Not Work

Let me dispel a myth—you’re not required to work through lunch. Sadly, quite a few of us suffer from the delusion that we need to power on through the day without so much as a potty break let alone stopping to eat.

Do yourself a favor, don’t take any calls, don’t answer your email, save your filing for later, etc. It will all be there when you get back.

Eat

This seems fairly obvious, but I’m always surprised by how many people I know who go the entire workday without a bite to eat. It’s just not healthy to skip meals. You’ll be less cranky if nothing else and your co-workers will thank you.

Brown Bag It

Healthy Lunch
Image courtesy of Wikimedia

I’ve got two great reasons for why you should bring your lunch whenever you can.

1) You control the portions and the content. This means you’ll have a better idea of how many calories you’re wolfing down and how much fat you’ve got to burn at the gym later. When you eat out it’s a lot more difficult to know exactly what you’re putting into your body.

2) You save money. The cost of a ham & cheese sandwich plus a baggie of chips and a drink from home is about three to five bucks. It’s easy to spend well over $10 on a restaurant lunch.

Eat Outside

Weather permitting, I love to eat outside. This past week in Houston we had some unseasonably lovely weather and I was able to take advantage of it. I find it much more enjoyable to eat under the sun than under the flicker of fluorescent lighting any day.

When you eat outside you gain the added benefit of not being interrupted by co-workers. If I had a nickel for every time someone came up to me in the break-room and said “I’m sorry to bug you on your lunch break, but…” I’d have way more nickels than I currently do.

Go for a Walk

Don’t have time to exercise? Yeah, I tell that lie, too.

It probably doesn’t take you your entire lunch break to eat your food (especially if you bring it from home). Why not get a little exercise? Your heart will thank you.

Read a Book

One of the most common excuses I hear from people who don’t read is that, although they want to, they don’t have any time.

Read a paragraph in between bites and then spend the rest of your break turning pages. That way you won’t need to pretend you’ve read the title at your next book club meeting.

Go for a Date

With three kiddos it can be a challenge for us to schedule a regular date night. So, the wife and I sometimes get together for lunch.

Our lunch dates take us away from our daily tasks and help us stay connected. Show your loved ones you care and that you’d rather be with them than at work.

Cubicle workers of the world unite! It’s high time we reclaimed our lunch hour. Most of the tips I’ve shared can be combined with one or more of the others to further boost the effectiveness of your break.

How do you make the most of your lunch break? Sound off in the comments below.